A pound is typically seen as a relatively small amount of weight, especially when it comes to grown men throwing down inside the Octagon. Yet in the case of a recent bout between UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz, less than a pound has produced a huge debate about the legitimacy of their March 16 meeting.
Typically, both participants in a title-fight are expected to weigh in on or below the divisional mark rather than receiving any allowance as in the case of a clash without gold on the line. However, Diaz’s camp filmed a discussion with UFC executive Michael Mersch prior to the UFC 158 weigh-ins where they were informed Quebec’s regulatory board doesn’t take into account fractional weight meaning St-Pierre, who hails from Montreal, could come in heavier than 170 and still be cleared for competition.
Diaz’s lawyer quickly released a statement after his client lost to St-Pierre saying complaints would be filed relating to the weight issue and the lack of oversight during drug testing. Now, the fighter’s legal representative has gone a step further by releasing text messages from Mersch and the director of Quebec’s commission, Michel Hamelin, to Bloody Elbow.
When questioned further about the “0.9 pound allowance” shortly after the weigh-ins had taken place, Mersch had seemingly forgotten the earlier conversation, writing, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. All parties weighed in appropriately according [to] the Quebec Commission… I have been told everyone made weight so there’s nothing to make an issue about. He might want to focus on how he’s going to win the fight rather than spending the night making excuses about why he lost.”
“The Commission determined both fighters weighed 170 or less. What am I supposed to do about that? I would think Nick would be excited to compete for the UFC Welterweight title. Seems like he’s focused on the wrong issue,” Mersch continued when pressed on the matter.
Meanwhile, Hamelin’s take was also to point to St-Pierre being 170 pounds by RACJ standards and deny any “special rules” being in place.
The 29-year old Diaz is expected to continue pursuing the dispute unless awarded a rematch or St-Pierre is stripped of his belt, both of which seem highly unlikely.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/MMAWEEKLY